HARTFORD — Although many young boys experience emotional and behavioral problems that often result in school and social issues, African American and Latino males are half as likely to receive mental health services compared to non-Hispanic white youth.
In Connecticut, state officials and local health agencies will address that issue by first releasing a report at Connecticut State Capitol, Judiciary Room from 3: 30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The Connecticut Association of School Based Health staff, supporters, advocates, educators, legislators, funders, students and parents will review key findings and recommendations from their 18-month research study, which investigated the use of mental health services among adolescent African American and Latino males in school-based health center settings.
Researchers will also share findings to help inform decisions of state and federal policy-makers who may struggle with questions around shrinking state resources, improving health outcomes and reducing incarceration rates for males of color. They also will share findings about barriers, such as access, perceptions and stigma, etc. that get in the way of the males’ use of mental health services, and will share policy recomm
The Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers partnered with the University of Connecticut School of Nursing and the Institute for Community Research to conduct the research with funding from the Connecticut Health Foundation and the Perrin Family Foundation. The study found that:
- SBHCs remove or mitigate barriers to mental health treatment for African-
- American and Latino adolescent males including lack of transportation, lack of insurance, and stigma
- SBHCs provide an atmosphere of safety, confidentiality and trust; characteristics that are of paramount importance to adolescent males
- SBHCs have proven to be a valuable resource which allows easy access to comprehensive physical and mental health care for African-American and Latino adolescent males, a group of young men who are otherwise reluctant to engage in mental health services.
“School Based Health Centers provide a safe, confidential environment for students to express their concerns and learn to cope with stressors. This access to mental health care in their school creates a connection that can improve their health and academic achievement”, said Jesse White-Fresé, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers.